Monday, October 26, 2009

Greasemonkey scripts

I've been entertaining myself by trying to write Greasemonkey scripts. If what I want to do isn't simple, I install pre-written ones. Greasemonkey scripts are like add-ons for the Firefox browser. I once wrote one for a web company I worked for that earned accolades from the sole user of it. I called it "Cake". Why settle for cookies when you can have Cake? It cleared browser cookies with one click to make it easier to test our web pages. Actually, I called it Cake because that was the closest icon picture I could find to a cookie: a birthday cake.

One I recently installed blocks ads. I feel bad because people try to earn money on their blogs with ads. Who am I to subvert their income? But some of these sites have too many ads. I feel the entire internet has become overrun with ads. So, because a few people couldn't exercise restraint, I've decided to block them from all sites I visit. I will enable them for blogs I like. In that manner, I'll "pay" only for blogs I like.

One script I wrote blocks the annoying habit of making one of the form fields on a page have the cursor automatically placed within it. I hate that because I'll load a page and try to scroll with the arrow key on my laptop but nothing will happen. Now the page will always scroll when I want it to. People could write the same functionality into their automatic form field focus scripts if they thought about user-friendliness, but they don't care about that so they don't. I have now done it for them, at least for myself.

It's my way of trying to keep up my skills during this time of underemployment.

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